[LMB] Betan control of pregnancy

M R L Dolbear m.dolbear at lineone.net
Sat Nov 7 00:20:57 GMT 2015

From: Matthew George
Sent: Friday, November 6, 2015 10:23 PM

> It's not completely clear to me how the biological technology in the 
> series
works - likely for the simple reason that LMB doesn't and can't know the
details, else she'd actually know how to do those things somehow.

> I've recently come to the conclusion that the Vorkosiverse doesn't have 
> the
ability to extrapolate the outcome of a genetic program, and presumably the
relative ability to do so comes from trial-and-error empiricism acquired
over centuries.  If it were possible, the Cetagandans would be doing it,
and there'd be no need to have ba as test runs of prospective alterations.

> I do wonder whether any genetic alterations get screened out, or if 
> there's
just a list of known mutations with serious bad effects and no known
benefits.  I'm not at all sanguine about human attempts to control our
genetics, but if the technology existed to alter DNA I wouldn't have the
heart to stop someone with, say, the genetic quirk responsible for
Huntington's Disease, from removing it from their lineage.

== Vorkosiverse doesn't have the ability to extrapolate the outcome of a 
genetic program

The Cetagandans presumably try to extrapolate and predict but the most 
obvious counterexample is the extrapolated 'portraits' of possible children 
that Bel and Nicol have generated in Diplomatic Immunity.

[DI ch 6 ]
Bel blushed and dug in its trouser pocket. “Nicol and I . . . when we went 
to the geneticist for counseling, they ran a projection of all the possible 
combinations, to help us choose.”

Little Egret by email (Windows Live Mail)
Michael Dolbear in Walton-on-Thames

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